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Poster: cream-puff-war Date: Feb 23, 2006 11:26am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Strange happenings at Dead Shows

1. 1970, Fillmore West (Carousel Ballroom).

I was standing right in front of the stage.

At the climax of "Casey Jones", which got louder for the last few verses,
one of the amplifiers exploded in flames with a big bang!

I wasn't sure if it really happened or if I imagined it.

Since then I figured out it was done with flash paper and a cherry bomb... or maybe they really blew out the amp!

2. I was at the Winterland show in 1971 or thereabouts (early '70s) when water was handed to the crowd by someone from the stage with the advice to take a sip and pass it on.

Not everyone heard that, and some thirsty people chugged from the jug.
The resulting freak-outs were reported in the daily news.
My Dad was worried I was one of them until he saw me days later.

3. Outside the side door of Winterland, circa 1978...

The guards didn't even want people on that side of the street, but we kept coming back over.

My friend suddenly climbed up the fire escape - an amazing physical feat, I couldn't believe it even as I watched him do it.

Someone had opened the fire door and circus boy went for it in a hot second.

Suddenly someone in the audience opened the street level side door and in a heartbeat I dashed from the cold stark sidewalk to the middle of a Dead set.

It was hot inside, while the band was tepid.

I took off my burgundy velvet coat and watched the rest of the show without making a sound, until the lights came up and the band was leaving the stage.

I yelled out "Cream Puff War!" and tossed a bunch of bread crumbs on the stage.

I felt like I'd been bad and it was time to leave. I looked for my coat on the side seat where I left it but it was gone.
I raced toward the front exit, and a guy was standing out side with my coat - I said thanks and grabbed it.

The acrobat I rode there with was gone, so I hitchhiked back to my Sausalito houseboat.

It took hours to get a ride, at least I had a coat.

The clean Continental-style car was unusual for the kind that stopped for hitchers, although the driver looked hip.

His name was Francis, just like St. Francis I thought.
After waiting that long to get a ride, you can almost believe in miracles.

I yakked about how I'd gotten in Winterland for free.

Then he told me he had been at the show, working on stage.

In fact, he saw me throw the crumbs and he cleaned them up.

Just drop me off back at the side door.
I didn't say that but might as well have.

4. August 1970 FW
I knew the words to the new song Truckin' and was singing along.

Bob Weir looked down at me (during the livin' on reds tongue twister) and he went cross-eyed, in a bit of a double take (seeing someone mouth the words simultaneously).

More strange happenings in
http://www.archive.org/iathreads/post-view.php?id=36608

This post was modified by cream-puff-war on 2006-02-23 19:26:17

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Poster: rrollerball Date: Feb 24, 2006 5:06pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Strange happenings at Dead Shows

everytime ive been to saratoga has been a strange happening and i was there for the main show and buckeye lake too!!!

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Poster: cream-puff-war Date: Feb 28, 2006 5:26am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Strange happenings at Dead Shows

Speaking of getting in free,
my father got by the security on the very last night, during the Fillmore West closing week.

He and I were standing outside the side door.
We heard what sounded like gun fire and there was a split second window of opportunity.
All but one doorman had left their post to see if Bill was okay or whatever.

Dad said "I'm Santana's father" to no one in particular and walked right in.
Within 2 seconds they had control again and my words "I'm Santana's father's son" or words to that effect were ignored.
I didn't push it because I didn't want to get Dad kicked out.
That was his first and only rock concert.

Years later I learned that it was a friend of mine that lit a firecracker near the side door.


Harding Theatre, circa 1971 Garcia and Tom Fogerty.

Between the sets, I think it was the Rowan Bros who were up next.

The lights were on and someone was smoking a cigarette or something, I don't remember what made me turn around to see who was sitting behind me... it was Jerry Garcia and friend taking in the show for a few minutes.

On a side note, in 1974 I was in Marin hitching and a hip chick named "Birdie" picked me up, and we ended up at her house nestled under trees decked out with a huge record collection and a variety of stringed instruments in the living room.

We dropped something she said was pure.
I had no reason to doubt her, noting the juicer and other natural food stuff in the kitchen.

A few hours later I was having a fine time playing records and strumming one of the guitars as best I could. Not very well.
Her roomate came home just as I was banging away on Uncle John's Band.
I ceased and desisted.

No introductions were made, he just sat down and started playing, brilliantly.
She just smiled as though I should know who he was... and in my altered state, I thought it was Jerry Garcia.

I was slightly embarrassed and even a little paranoid. Maybe Birdy was his lady, and I had been trying to make time with her.

It turned out to be Jan Tangen, a Blue Bear Music (Family Light) School founder, who did look like Jerry.


Oakland Col, circa 1990.
A friend had an extra ticket when his wife had to reschedule at the last minute.
He got me to go although I was dreading the long hours soon to be endured. Imagine not wanting to go to a Grateful Dead show.

"What, and miss Gilligan?"
At least we arrived late.

I stood like a statue watching from a balcony rail. A girl behind me started being real friendly even though I was uptight.
I thought perhaps I was a challenge she was aiming to loosen up.
A minute went by before I found the nerve to say something.

I turned around and she was floating away horizontally, being carried hand and foot by friends.
They informed me she'd be out for the night.

I headed for the lobby.
Staring absently at a wretched tie-die t-shirt someone was wearing, I slowly looked up at her face, as she looked up at me.
It was my sister, whom I hadn't seen in 4 years or know was down here.

The Stone, circa 1983
I was among the last to leave, standing by the front doors when out comes Bob Weir, guitar in hand. (With a friend, also carrying a guitar case).

They started walking down Broadway.
From the alcove, I could only see the street directly in front of The Stone.

Suddenly, right behind them walking in the same direction came a gang of around 10 juveniles.

There was a phone back inside, and I listened for the scrum.
Of course Bob made it home okay or we would have heard by now.




This post was modified by cream-puff-war on 2006-02-28 13:26:39

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Poster: nagdot Date: Feb 28, 2006 7:30am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Strange happenings at Dead Shows

reminds me of a song...gate crashers suck, seems the dead also created gate crashers, ever see festival express ,nuttin kind bout that

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Poster: cream-puff-war Date: Feb 28, 2006 9:21am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Strange happenings at Dead Shows

Festival Express, yeah, saw it.
One of the best scenes in it is when Garcia raps to the gate crashers, without condescending.
They (GD) did a free show a few days later.
Are you saying that encourages gate crashers?

Orthat mounted police busting heads wasn't kind?
Or demanding free music isn't kind?

Gate crashing en masse is one thing, one person sneaking in is another.
I mean, 500 gatecrashers upsets a lot of people, makes a statement, involves people and maybe has valid reasons.

One person sneakin' in is just cheap, or maybe has valid reason - sold out show, last ever show, no money, whatever.
But the show goes on, no big scene results.

Bill Graham ran a tight ship, but it wasn't Fort Knox... once in a while someone might slip through.

I paid for every other Bill Graham show I went to except for the Kinks show at the Berkeley Community Theatre that I worked as a volunteer usher for, which was a good way to get in "free".

A movie worth seeing on this subject is "FREE", which stars Jimi Hendrix, The Byrds and Dr. John.
The debate between the promoter and community is the main focus of FREE.
By the end, the people liberate the concert. The performers who play for free are conga players, etc.

The Isle of Wight movie includes gate crashing scenes.
Joni Mitchell tells the crowd what for.


I was the doorman at the Purple Onion in 1999.
Maybe one person a night was short on cash, or not on the guest list, but usually paid, or didn't expect a free ride again and again...
I made snap judgements and sometimes let 'em in.

I believe free music such as here at the LMA will encourage not discourage interest in supporting the bands/acts that share.









This post was modified by cream-puff-war on 2006-02-28 17:21:16

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Poster: nagdot Date: Feb 28, 2006 10:50am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Strange happenings at Dead Shows

everyone wants something for nuttin, next thing you know its 100 bux to see p&f or ratdog lmao. i was a door man myself and i ran a tight ship even the cops paid to get in. truth is my man that if it werent for gate crashers there prolly would still be a quality, not so expensive, woodstock every year. when you cant break even cuz so called happy kind ppl steal from you, wat have you got, a 200$ ticket to bonarroo peace

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Poster: cream-puff-war Date: Mar 1, 2006 9:12pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Strange happenings at Dead Shows

when we were freshmen, the price of admission into the Fillmore West/Carousel Ballroom at $5 was a fortune but there was always

Tuesday "Sounds of the City" at the FW for $1

Auditions-Jams-Guest Performers 9pm til 2am

at 7:00pm The Fillmore Fingers played basketball
you could watch Bill play or take a nap on the floor and no one would bother ya...
I caught some zzzs one night and woke up just as Cipollina was taking a solo in "Fresh Air"...
man, that's coffee!



This post was modified by cream-puff-war on 2006-03-02 05:12:23

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Poster: corwin Date: Feb 28, 2006 12:16pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Strange happenings at Dead Shows

Hey cream puff this aint no war!! spread the love and tell bobby plz!!festivals will only stay as strong as the community..some kidz dance and shake there bones the politicians,they throw them stone's it's all to clear WEIR UR ON UR OWN,ashes ashes i just fell down..........

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Poster: cream-puff-war Date: Feb 28, 2006 1:31pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Strange happenings at Dead Shows

true, festivals are great, and coming together as a community in spite of the danger or temporary lack of personal comfort -
a lot easier when you're young, has to be done.

But do it right!
The war (or battle of bread crumbs) isn't over high prices but in not getting what we pay for, a lack of care or service... and over crowding.


"It's not hard to imagine why people [at Woodstock 1999] vented their violent impulses after being penned up in a treeless air force base during a stifling heat wave...

Blaming the customer who loses control is a lot easier than acknowledging the frustration that is bound to arise from outrageous corporate conduct.

...We pathologize what is essentially a logical response to the fact that companies are raking in the cash while consumers take the burn."

--Richard Goldstein

A couple times in line I addressed Bill Graham about the issue of high ticket cost.
He said talk to the band (at the George Harrison 1974 show); and "wear a green shirt" (on the last night of the Fillmore), whatever that meant.

In 1983 I was near the front at the David Bowie Oakland Arena show.

It almost turned into a disaster as waves of people were falling over each other in the crush as the Let's Dance fans surged towards the stage.

Girls were passing out, being handed up to the stage.

Bowie hadn't even come out yet.

Bill Graham finally came out and said everybody take 3 steps back.

I got the hell out of there with one shoe on and watched Bowie on the big screen


This post was modified by cream-puff-war on 2006-02-28 21:31:24

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Poster: kassina Date: Mar 1, 2006 1:01am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Strange happenings at Dead Shows

"I got the hell out of there with one shoe on and watched Bowie on the big screen"

Do you remember which shoe it was - left? right?

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Poster: cream-puff-war Date: Mar 1, 2006 7:20am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Strange happenings at Dead Shows

It was a really big shoe!
And the closest thing to mania at a concert I've experienced,
in 35 years of going to live shows.

I've tried to make a list of every show I've ever seen: band, year and venue, at least the ones I remember, just for fun at:

http://beat-pop.blogspot.com/2006/02/name-every-show-youve-ever-seen.html

(nothing commercial, no solicitatations on this beat pop blog)

Comments and other lists welcome.

Thanks to this Strange happenings at Dead Shows - an interesting thread with lots of amusing memories,
some of which may work their way into LMA reviews;
we've shared another aspect of live music.

Little pieces of the puzzle that may jog memories, of artist and audience; or add details which may be interest to archivists.

Not everything was caught on tape, such as the aforementioned banter between the standees and sitters at a mid-1970 Fillmore West GD show (it was probably Garcia who said, "There's nothin' to see!")

Every show from every year has it's individual character(s).

Like at the Fillmore West sometime in 1970, there was a big fellow in dashiki walking or parading around by the snack bar, announcing, in a strikingly loud and clear voice,
"I am the king of LSD!" or "I am the king of acid" repeatedly. Never saw him again.

One person posting above also attended
the sip or swig Winterland show.

Do you know the actual date of that, and if it's in the LMA?

Oddly enough, I never had anything psychedelic at a live concert (except cannabis) other than one time; 1997 at the Purple Onion.

Google the 90's Purple Onion freak shows if you enjoy strange happenings.

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Poster: corwin Date: Feb 28, 2006 2:38pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Strange happenings at Dead Shows

ummm ok,im not sure why ur implying 69 woodstock and the frikin 99 woodstock together??? and as to why u would imply why u will not go to festivals>? festivals are great these days and well organized for the most part! i have yet to see a big gathering of the peeps and have not one thing go wrong!!it happens man but plz stay positive or contine u to stay behind a screen!! ya the choice is urs but lets keep it real.....strangers stopping strangers just to shake there hands!!!!!!!!

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Poster: cream-puff-war Date: Feb 28, 2006 4:22pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Strange happenings at Dead Shows

maybe I misunderstood the post before that read in part,

" if it werent for gate crashers there prolly would still be a quality, not so expensive, woodstock every year. when you cant break even cuz so called happy kind ppl steal from you..."

There were gate crashers at the 1st Woodstock, and it took years for some of the backers to recoup their investments; no matter how free and beautiful a festival is, someone had to sweat and sacrifice more than they planned to.

And no matter how maligned a festival was, some people had a good time...
such as at Altamont, I've read positive reviews by peeps who weren't near the stage.

By the big screen, I meant the concert screen so people in the back can see what's going on.

At one 1970 Grateful Dead show I saw, some people were saying, "Sit down!"
"We can't see!""
other people were saying "Stand up!"

This went on for a while, until eventually Bob Weir said, "Stand on your heads!"
and someone else in the band said, "there's nothin' to see!"

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Poster: kassina Date: Mar 1, 2006 12:55am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Strange happenings at Dead Shows

"I got the hell out of there with one shoe on and watched Bowie on the big screen"

do you remember which shoe it was - left? right?

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Poster: Clockface Date: Jul 16, 2006 6:39pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Strange happenings at Dead Shows

I ran across your mention of the "Fillmore Fingers". In those days, I was a member of the Little Princess 109 light show group, and we watched the basketball games, too. It was a ringside seat upon our perch on the light show platform near the ceiling at Fillmore West. On one occasion, the Fingers played against Alice Cooper's band before the show. I'll always remember watching Alice dribbling and running down the court while in full stage costume, including an 'iron' chastity belt.

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Poster: DEADBUCK Date: Mar 1, 2006 10:07pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Strange happenings at Dead Shows

Yeah I was walking into the show at Boston Gahden when A pigeon from up under the highway shat right between my open toes. Thats when I owned Teva sandals...and I knew they wouldnt have done it to Birks...so I switched shortly there after..
And at my first show (also in Boston) The lady sitting in front of me set her big hair on fire with a but. must of been from Revere with all that hairspray...lesson ...stay away from north shore girls.